Code of Ethics


Every computer science and/or engineering student at the University of Notre Dame is expected to follow this Code of Conduct.

Section one is general moral imperatives. Section two is about professional responsibilities as a Notre Dame student or graduate. Section three is about managerial responsibilities as a Notre Dame student or graduate.

As with most codes of conduct, this document is open to interpretation.  This Code of Conduct answers the question of what it means to be a Notre Dame student and how it affects his or her approach to Computer Science.  This Code of Conduct is not dated and covers some emerging technologies.

General Moral Imperatives

  1. Contribute to the Notre Dame (Engineering) community
    • The reason the Notre Dame community is great is because almost everyone who is apart of it, cares and contributes to it.  Whether it is the smallest contribution or biggest, it is also important to remember where one was helped along the way.
  2. Understand and follow Notre Dame’s Mission Statement
    • The Mission Statement is intricate, but a quote that breaks it down: “In all dimensions of the University, Notre Dame pursues its objectives through the formation of an authentic human community graced by the Spirit of Christ.”
  3. Make every class count
    • Classes can be very boring and uninteresting, but one does not know when the class will come back to help them.  Whether in an interview, or  having a conversation in the workplace, the history learned about Ancient Greece, for example, could be very useful.
  4. Be honest and trustworthy
    • As a student of Notre Dame, these are the most important characteristics to have.  If someone was to turn in work that is not their own, they are cheating themselves, cheating the class, and not preparing themselves for the something that they can apply in the real world.   Also, having these characteristics in the real world is extremely important for any job.
    • Being honest and trustworthy is also important to honoring property rights.  Property rights, including copyrights and patents, should not be copied, reproduced, or replicated in any form.  If they are, someone should be honest about where they came from, and acquire permission to use the intellectual property.
  5. Respect the intended use of technology
    • Today, technology is advancing much faster than the law.  This means that although not illegal, an action performed can be morally wrong.  An example is using a personal drone to spy on someone.  Now there are laws that make this illegal, but this action was never morally correct. Someone created the technology of a drone for entertainment, so this intended use should be respected.
  6. Be fair and take action not to discriminate
    • In accordance with the mission statement, you should always be fair in the implementation of your assignments and projects. You should not discriminate against your peers when helping on assignments or assembling project teams.
  7. Give proper credit for intellectual property
    • When working with fellow students on coding assignments or projects, be honest in your evaluation of individual contributions. This includes your own personal contribution as well as the contribution of any other individual involved.
  8. Honor the property of professors
    • Many professors develop their own assignments and lectures for a given course. We are lucky to have such dedicated professors at the University of Notre Dame, and we can respect them by not sharing their hard work with following classes or students/professors at other schools (unless permitted by the professor).
  9. Respect the rules of Du Lac
    • Working on projects late into the night is not a valid excuse for breaking parietals. Move project work into 24 hour spaces on campus if personal interaction is necessary after hours.

Professional Responsibilities as a Notre Dame student or graduate

  1. Strive to increase the value of the Notre Dame brand by producing the best work possible.
  2. Further your education post Notre Dame.
  3. Know and respect the laws governing your chosen workplace and uphold the moral virtues instilled in you by your time at Notre Dame.
  4. Give helpful and meaningful feedback during professional review sessions.
  5. Accurately assess risk and appropriately report your findings when analyzing systems. Ensure the quality of your code by practicing thorough testing.
  6. Be gracious of opportunities given to you and honor all contracts.
  7. Share your knowledge of computer science obtained at Notre Dame with your peers, superiors, and future generations of computer scientists.
  8. Do not take advantage of resources provided to you as a professional without proper authorization.

Managerial Responsibilities as a Notre Dame student or graduate

  1. Develop social responsibilities of your team, in accordance with the Notre Dame mission, and manage commitment of your team members to uphold them.
  2. Manage project teams to produce work the advances the quality of life.
  3. Only authorize proper use of computing resources provided by your company or organization.
  4. Ensure that you develop products which sufficiently meet the needs of your customers.
  5. Develop policies that prevent computing systems from potentially harming the dignity of your users.
  6. Be a teacher. As a manager, you are responsible for educating and developing the members of your team with the hope that you help them advance in their own career.

Compliance with the Code

As a student studying computer science and/or engineering at the University of Notre Dame, one should uphold and promote the principles of this code. In the professional world, a Notre Dame computer science graduate is expected to represent the university and the computer science and engineering department in the best possible way. This is done by performing one’s job with technical, ethical, and professional excellence.

Authors: Zachary LeBlanc and Matt McKenzie



One thought on “Code of Ethics

  1. Pingback: The Fifth Post – mmckenz3

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